With the news coming out about the Cleveland Browns reportedly turning down the Seattle Seahawks offering up Russell Wilson for the first round pick they used to draft Baker Mayfield, I thought it would be a great idea to look back at other proposed trades that would’ve shaken up the NFL landscape.
How many of these do you remember? If there are any you think are missing, please hit us up over on Twitter @Full10Yards!
Aaron Rodgers to the Oakland Raiders
Back in 2007, Aaron Rodgers was still backing up Brett Farve in Green Bay when the Raiders put Hall of Fame wide receiver Randy Moss on the trade block. Aaron Rodgers for Randy Moss would’ve been a hell of a trade. The reason this trade didn’t go through?
Green Bay wanted a first round pick and Moss for Aaron Rodgers. Moss ended up landing in New England and not only setting multiple records with Tom Brady but going 16-0 in THAT regular season.
Rumours surfacing once again about Aaron Rodgers and whether or not he will start and finish his career at Lambeau Field. Are the Raiders FINALLY gonna get to see A Rod?
Ben Roethlisberger to the Oakland Raiders/St. Louis Rams.
Now this one might be surprising to anyone who doesn’t keep up with the off field stories of the Pittsburgh Steelers. Ben Roethlisberger is far from the perfect teammate; he consistently airs team dirty laundry on his radio show, he thinks he’s the GM and not just a player and struggles to get on with most of his star players.
This isn’t just hearsay though, it’s well documented and this is why I think there’s weight behind this trade. In 2010 it was reported that the Steelers organization was fed up with Big Ben and his behavior that was causing trouble inside the organization and were looking at offers.
The Steelers approached Oakland and offered them Ben and the number 18 pick for the number 8 pick. Oakland said no. They also approached the St. Louis Rams and offered to trade Ben for Sam Bradford who had just completed his rookie year…the Rams said no, and that was that. Big Ben stayed in Pittsburgh and continued to annoy and alienate teammates.
Dan Marino to the Oakland Raiders
(I mean seriously? I promise this is the last Oakland one…or is it?)
In 1989, the Miami Dolphins had a very average 8-8 season leading them to another year of missing the playoffs. This wasn’t something Don Shula was happy with so they he thought the best course of action would be to change the signal caller, who was legendary quarterback…Dan Marino.
Shula managed to secure a verbal agreement with Raiders Al Davis but last minute the deal fell through, why? Shula got cold feet and upped the asking price for Marino. Twice. The price was too steep, even for Davis. Miami and Marino still never managed to win a Super Bowl.
It’s one of the one things Marino would be remembered for the one of the best quarterbacks to never win a Lombardi.
Eli Manning to the Jacksonville Jaguars
Going into the 2017/2018 season the Jags were really not happy with their Quarterback situation Blake Bortles wasn’t really cutting it.
The Jaguars needed a solution so they looked north to New York and set their sights on Eli Manning. The 2 time Super Bowl champion had been playing to put it lightly…terrible, but the Jags liked Manning for his Super Bowl experience and his former coach Tom Coughlin was running the Jacksonville front office.
Why didn’t this happen? Blake had a decent season which killed the interest in the trade from the Jags end. Shame Bortles went back to his usual self next season and the “Sacksonville” era was over before it even got started.
Odell Beckham Jr. to The Los Angeles Rams.
A couple of years before he got shipped out to Cleveland for a 1st round pick and Jabrill Peppers the Rams showed serious interest in Odell Beckham Jr.
What did the New York Football Giants want for the spectacular wide receiver? They asked the Rams for two 1st round picks and the Rams only wanted to give them one.
That’s a high price but the Browns eventually paid a similar price giving the Giants a 1st round pick and a 1st round player in Peppers. OBJ has yet to shine in Cleveland would the same thing have happened in LA?
Antonio Brown to the Buffalo Bills
Okay, so this did/didn’t happen but everyone (kinda) remembers where they were when this went down. It was reported that the Steelers had agreed to send AB to the Bills
Twitter did it’s thing once it turned out that this wasn’t going to go through. Antonio Brown ended up being traded to the Oakland Raiders (why always Oakland?) but even then, he didn’t see the field in a Raiders Jersey, being “set free” to eventually wind up in New England for a game before unceremoniously leaving the league and trying to return ever since.
Due to the coronavirus outbreak, the big live NFL Draft event planned in Las Vegas has been shelved and, rather than sitting together in physical “war rooms”, team representatives are now preparing to dial in remotely from home. Obviously, all 32 teams could do with a successful haul come close of business on 25 April but if they can master Zoom or Skype, which teams really need to nail this first-ever virtual draft?
(7 picks: #1, #33, #65, #107, #147, #180, #215)
The league’s worst team last year obviously need as good a draft as any but it’s not quite as crucial as usual. In Cincy terms at least, they had an active free agency and filled a few holes, especially in defence. That said, with Andy Dalton still under contract, and Dre Kirkpatrick and Cordy Glenn released, Cincinnati’s best chances of acquiring extra picks didn’t come to fruition so they’ll just have to make the seven they do have count.
Trades notwithstanding, the Bengals are due to pick first in every round, giving them the next 10 days or so to decide what to do with the first overall pick (as if we didn’t know) and several hours each evening to consider any trade offers they receive before starting Days 2 and 3. They shouldn’t mess this up but you only have to go back 12 months to see how a draft can be a total washout. With injuries (Jonah Williams) and underperformance (Drew Sample, Ryan Finley) in abundance, only LB Germaine Pratt came out of the class of 2019 with any credit.
After, we assume, Ohio native Joe Burrow becomes their new franchise quarterback, the Bengals should get a couple of skill-position weapons for him to work with (as AJ Green and John Ross both hit free agency next season), at least another offensive lineman for protection and probably another linebacker.
(7 picks: #2, #66, #108, #142, #162, #216, #229)
Picking second after a terrible 2019, it should be no surprise to anyone that Washington also feature in this article. They have a sackful of needs, even after a busy free agency, just the standard seven picks with which to address them and a new Head Coach in Ron Rivera who’s going to want to make progress PDQ. So this draft matters.
Almost everyone has the ‘Skins taking Ohio State edge rusher Chase Young at #2 overall and while the defensive line isn’t their most pressing need, it would be hard to pass on a player widely regarded as a “generational talent”. Then again, they may trade the second spot away to someone like Miami, and grab one or two other first round picks. After that, the Redskins don’t pick again until #66, so they’re not going to get the pick of the bunch. They’ll need a tight end or two after Jordan’s Reed’s departure and Vernon Davis’ retirement, and a WR mate for Terry McLaurin: Chase Claypool or Antonio Gandy-Golden maybe?
If Trent Williams decides he’s washed his hands of the franchise after sitting out last year, left tackle will suddenly become a pressing need too.
The Dolphins opted for a total reboot last year, trading away the likes of Kenyan Drake and Minkah Fitzpatrick in exchange for a million draft picks (OK then, just 14, including three in Round 1 alone). Having acquired all this capital in exchange for bombing last year out, the Dolphins can’t afford to waste any of it now they have so many holes to plug.
With Josh Rosen probably not the guy and Fitzmagic a stop-gap at best, the Fins will probably take Tua Tagovailoa or Justin Herbert, and have the ammo to move up from #5 if they need to. Their woeful pass rush has been bolstered in free agency with LB Kyle Van Noy and defensive end Shaq Lawson, and they now have the highest-paid corner in the business in Byron Jones, so that leaves their O-line as the other main priority. Picking at #18 may mean they miss out on the top-tier OL talent and have to wait for someone in the second wave, like Isiah Wilson or Ezra Cleveland, or they may double-dip on Days 1 and 2.
Los Angeles Chargers
(7 picks: #6, #37, #71, #112, #151, #186, #220)
On paper, the Chargers don’t look in bad shape so suggesting they need a blinding draft might seem to be over-stating it. But many of their best players –DEs Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram, receivers Keenan Allen and Mike Williams, TE Hunter Henry and centre Mike Pouncey among them – are entering the final year of their contracts. It’s time to put some successors in place now, as they won’t be able to keep them all.
In Philip Rivers’ wake, Tyrod Taylor is the bridge QB for now but LA are touted to pick their playcaller of the future at #6; whether that’s Tua, Herbert or Love remains to be seen.
Free agency signings such as corner Chris Harris and right tackle Bryan Bulaga suggest the Chargers might be going all out this year. Another lineman or two are on the cards too, so expect a tackle in Round 2 – a Josh Jones or a Lucas Niang maybe. Later rounds will give the Chargers the chance to fill out the wide receiver room and beef up the secondary.
Having shelled out $33 million for Teddy Bridgewater, a full-scale rebuild seems to be on the cards in Carolina under new HC Matt Rhule.
Jets WR Robby Anderson joined during free agency, so their offensive focus can probably be directed towards O-line help to support the running game of Christian McCaffrey, and a TE to replace Greg Olsen. That said, they’re more likely to look at their immediate defensive needs. With Luke Kuechly’s retirement, only one starting cornerback of note and the D-line needing help, just picking the best defensive player available for several rounds might not be a bad tactic.
They have more than enough picks to haul in a strong draft class this year. They’re out of the gate at #7, behind three QB-needy teams so they’ll be spoilt for choice when their time comes: at least one of LB Isiah Simmons, CB Jeff Okudah and DT Derrick Brown should be there for the taking.
You could argue that the salary-cap-strapped Jags need help pretty much everywhere and anywhere. HC Doug Marrone is in one of hottest hot seats in the NFL and needs his 12 picks to pay off if he’s to avoid another losing season.
Jacksonville’s defence has more holes than a block of Emmental, having lost Jalen Ramsey, AJ Bouye and Calais Campbell, so they’ll need to use some of their extensive draft capital early on. With picks #9 and #20, they could start at corner and on the edge. If Okudah falls to them, they’ll snap him up and Yetur Gross-Matos would be a solid pick at 20. Gardner Minshew may yet get some competition on Day 2 if the Jags consider Jacob Eason at #42.
Las Vegas Raiders
(7 picks: #12, #19, #80, #81, #91, #121, #159)
Las Vegas made some decent FA pick-ups, including LBs Cory Littleton and Nick Kwiatkoski and safety Jeff Heath, so a few more shrewd selections could propel them from also-ran to playoff contender.
Now that the draft is online rather than at a massive public event, there’s slightly less need for the former hosts to make a big splash in their new home. Nonetheless, the Silver and Black have two first round selections with which to make some Day 1 headlines, with wide receivers like Jerry Jeudy, Henry Ruggs III and CeeDee Lamb being widely mocked to the Raiders. If they go that route, their selection would probably leapfrog Nelson Agholor and Zay Jones in the pecking order.
Cornerback could bethe other likely first-round target while Days 2 and 3 will likely see them hone grab a defensive tackle and added depth at safety and linebacker.
A contract extension for QB Kirk Cousins can only mean one thing: the Vikes are in “win-now” mode. But if they are going to go a step or two further than last year, they’ll have to address several areas, on both sides of the ball, with their dozen 2020 picks.
Offensively, the Stefon Diggs trade to the Bills means a viable #2 wideout to support Adam Thielen is vital. The WR class is deep this year but I suspect pick #22 or #25 could well be used on someone like Tee Higgins or Laviska Shenault.
A guard or two might be wise, having released Josh Kline, but addressing the defence is arguably as pressing. They could do with two or three corners to fill the vacancies left by Trae Waynes and Mackensie Alexander (both Bengals now) and Xavier Rhodes, now with the Colts. There’s also no depth at safety and with Eversen Griffen also off to pastures new, a defensive end like Iowa’s AJ Epenesa is also on Minnesota’s shopping list.
There was a time, not that long ago, when suggesting the Pats really need to nail this draft would’ve been considered heresy, or even the first signs of madness. But for a change, they need a lot of their 12 picks to hit the target.
With the untested Jarrett Stidham and veteran Brian Hoyer their only choices at QB, Bill Belichick suddenly has much to ponder in the post-TB12 era. Are they happy with their options or will they be in the market for someone like Jordan Love at #23 or even Jalen Hurts in a later round?
Both are possible, but their offense could really benefit from a track star who can take the top off a defence. If they go WR in Round 1, Henry Ruggs could be available, or they might wait for Denzel Mimms or Chase Claypool. Post-Gronk, there’s also been a noticeable TE-shaped hole in the Patriots’ ranks so the top dog here, Cole Kmet, might even be the first selection.
In later rounds, New England really need some of those compensatory picks to find viable replacements in their defence, having lost linebackers Kyle Van Noy and Jamie Collins, and defensive tackle Danny Shelton, during free agency. And they don’t have a kicker on their roster, so a top prospect like Tyler Bass may well be Boston-bound.
(7 picks: #43, #50, #163, #196, #200, #226, #233)
In complete contrast to the Dolphins, the Bears don’t pick till midway through Round 2. Having had limited cap space to play the free agency field, Chicago are going to have to play a canny game to make the picks they do have count.
Having already acquired Nick Foles to give the troubled Mitchell Trubisky some competition, they’re not likely to consider anything but a late-round ‘project’ at QB. Therefore, expect the gaps in the backfield left by departing safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix and corner Prince Amukamara to be the ones the Bears fill at #43 and #50. Could Grant Delpit fall that far, for example, or maybe Antoine Winfield Jr?
It won’t be until staggering 113(!) picks later that Chicago will get the chance to do anything else, like find a wideout to complement Allen Robinson or add a piece to their O-line, but they’ll probably need to do both with their Day 3 choices.
Time to look at the London Jacksonville Jaguars, just a few seasons removed from being 5 minutes or so away from beating the Patriots in the AFC title game and appearing in a Super Bowl. Fair to say that since then, they’ve taken a nose dive quicker than the most theatrical of Soccer players. Are the good times ever going to come back to Jacksonville? Or are they destined for misery until a move overseas occurs?
ENTERING THE SEASON
2019, the post Blake Bortles era (or error). It was looked upon as a fresh new start with a fresh new Quarterback, breathing new life in to the team and the franchise. Opinions were split when Nick Foles signed a 4 year $88m deal to become the new face of the Jaguars, effectively choosing him over paying the defence or trying to get a QB in the 2019 draft. Mr Khan, Tom Coughlin and co. were seemingly under the impression their Super Bowl window was still open. High expectations for a team that have finished with a points differential of worse than -50 every year since 2008 except for that AFC conference visiting year of 2017.
Leonard Fournette, their 1st round running back from 2017 had yet to complete a full season (either through disciplinary consequences or injury) was under pressure to perform even before they selected Ryquell Armstead in the 2019 draft. The defence were branded as the type who quit on the fans and the team towards the end of last season and were labelled as a group who thought they were better than they were based on previous years’ performances whilst Doug Marrone, seemingly enters every year under pressure, somehow always manages to come out on the other side.
DURING THE SEASON
Jacksonville were handed one of the tougher draws right out of the gate, with a home game against the Kansas City Chiefs. However, Nick Foles left off where he finished from the Super Bowl and led the Jaguars to a fine 2nd drive. Problem was, he would no longer participate in the game after going down on the touchdown throw to DJ Chark, breaking his clavicle.
Enter, Gardner Minshew (or Mr Moustache as he would later be known). The 6th round rookie draft pick out of Washington State would go on to lead the Jaguars for the next 8 games. He started off well, leading the team to wins over the Titans and away in Denver. “Minshew Mania” had struck. Close defeats to Carolina and New Orleans followed up by wins over the Bengals and the Jets meant that London were treated to Minshew Mania in week 9. Oh how it capitulated so horribly.
Mr Moustache’s exerts in London of 2 awful Interceptions, 2 gut wrenching fumbles lost and 3 sacks taken culminated with the hapless Jaguars mustering just the 3 Josh Lambo points at Wembley Stadium. Minshew Mania officially died.
The Jags entered their week 10 bye at 4-5, Doug Marrone had seen enough of the Minshew Mania and recalled Nick Foles, back from injury. Fortunes were not to be with the Jaguars though and Foles lost the next 3 games. The latter of those losses to Floridian neighbours, Tampa Bay where Foles “did a Minshew” of sorts, throwing an interception and losing 2 fumbles, achieving only 3 1st downs in his 27 snaps from the start of the game. Minshew came in for the other 41 snaps for the Jaguars’ offence but to no avail.
The Jaguars fell to 4-8 and rode with Minshew until the end of the season, going 2-2 in that stretch with wins against division rivals in week 17 in a dead rubber but they did manage to upset the Raiders in the final game in Oakland where Minshew led the team to a great final drive to win it. In the midst of all that, Mr Iron Fist and VP of football operations for the Jags, Tom Coughlin got the boot after allegations of excessive fines and player grievances.
One bright spot on the season was DJ Chark, who broke out for 73 receptions and over 1000 yards on the season, finding the endzone 8 times. Dede Westbrook, the guy we all thought would have that type of season, fell well short on 66 receptions with 660 yards and found pay dirt just 3 times. Leonard Fournette managed to compete in 15 out of the 16 games this season, but avoided the endzone like the plague, finding it just 3 times also.
Whilst the teams passing offence held up somewhat even after the Jaguars traded motor mouth Jalen Ramsey to the Rams after week 6 for 2 future 1st round picks, it was the rushing aspect of their defensive duties the jaguars defence failed particularly well on, giving up the 2nd most yards per attempt (5.1) and rushing touchdowns (23). Rookie first rounder from the 2019 draft Josh Allen made it to the Pro Bowl in his first season after his efforts saw him achieve a team high 10.5 sacks.
After the dust settled, it was yet another season finishing in the AFC South basement. A few more years and they’ll legally be able to claim squattage. Doug Marrone has been given yet another vote of confidence which could mean 1 of 2 things: 1) they think Marrone is the right man for the job or 2) he’s just keeping the seat warm until they move to London. With the Jaguars playing 25% of their “home” games at Wembley next year in back to back games, the overseas Franchise rumours linked with the Jaguars will never die and seemingly is only trending in one direction. Jaguars fans in Florida are angered by this latest move, mainly because of the lack of transparency given by owner Shahid Khan.
Jacksonville are trying to accommodate Khan’s requests for upgrades in the town, with Khan putting a small % of his money in too, with upgrades in and aorund the stadium, but a lot more investement is earmarked for overseas, flowing across the Atlantic in the hopes of far bigger returns. The potential new market size bringing with it an untapped brand growing and monetising opportunities seems to be staring us all in the face that it is now a question of ‘when’ and not ‘if’.
On the field, the offseason will be fuelled yet again by Quarterback talk and don’t even be surprised if they draft one in 2020 considering they have 2 1st round picks to have a dart throw at one of them.
They are not flush with cap space entering next season so will have to get creative in order to make any major moves but expect to see at least 1 big name head for the exit door which could include any of Marcell Dareus ($20m saving), AJ Bouye ($11.5m) or recent NFL Man of the Year award winner Calais Campbell ($15m). Expect WR Marqise Lee, LB Jake Ryan & TE Geoff Swaim be cap casualties, who collectively would save the Jaguars around $15m in cap room.
Garrett, the bane of Cowboys’s fans since 2011, has come under fire yet again
this season for his conservative play calling and coaching decisions. This is
mainly in relation to his decision to kick a field goal when down a touchdown with
just over 6mins to go in the 4th Quarter.
the first time this has happened, and you only actually have to go back 2 weeks
where it was exactly the same situation against the Vikings.
point to the fact that despite the conservative nature of playcalling, Dallas
has a chance to win the game on their final drive which would have rendered
this conversation to be a little less under the spotlight.
when you play the better ranked teams or when you are up against it and need a
spark, you just have to push down on the throttle. Jason Garrett simply did not
aware of the coaches that are more conservative than the Tories (#politicsjoke)
and there is a reason why the Dallas Cowboys HC has his own special segment on our
NFL podcast to highlight instances of poor HC decisions.
If you switched
the coaching staff from both teams, the Cowboys would have won by 30 as the
Cowboys have elite talent on their roster worthy of a double digit team. The
coaching style and quality of Garrett however, is of a top 3 draft pick team.
This is why
they are 6-5 and a middle of the road team and Jerry Jones is not happy. But until
he Cowboys move on from Garrett, they will NEVER win a Super Bowl.
on the JETS
Jets have not had the most formidable of opponents the last 3 weeks but even
so, the way they have gone about their business has been impressive and it’s a
timely morale boost to their 2nd year QB Sam Darnold.
34-3 mauling of the Oakland Raiders was perhaps their most impressive of the
three most recent games as the Raiders are legitimate playoff/wildcard
contenders and the reason being that they did it on both sides of the ball.
with an impressive 20/29, 315 yards 3TDs and 0 turnovers, a problem that’s
dogged him since he has been in the league. He finally got Robby Anderson more
involved and Ryan Griffin has been a great addition to the team leading to the
front office inking him to a 3 year, $10m deal this week.
Next on the
slate is the Bengals and the Dolphins. Expect the Jets to keep rolling not just
in the NFL but for the start of your fantasy playoffs too.
go back to D’oh-lton
has announced that the team will be going back to Andy Dalton as Quarter Back
for the rest of the season taking over from Ryan Finley, who started 3 games.
consistently struggled to push the ball downfield and accuracy has also been an
issue with just a 47% completion rate on 87 pass attempts which has accounted
for 2 touchdowns, 2 interceptions and 3 fumbles. He failed to reach 200 yards
passing in any of the three games and has a 62.1 passer rating, 17 points below
that of Dalton’s this season.
that the team who have a 2 game “lead” for the #1 overall pick in 2020 have
done their evaluation of Finley and you can expect Finley to never see the
field in a Bengals Jersey again unless it’s through injury or suspension.
level production filtered through to the players as Tyler Boyd recently
expressed his displeasure at a lack of targets from the 2019 draft pick which
led to him being fed in the game against the Steelers. Fellow WR AJ Green has been
MIA for the season and you have to wonder if their QB selection had anything to
do with it, look out for AJ Green to make a miraculous recovery and return to
the field catching passes from Dalton.
Interference became a challengeable element this season after the Saints were,
let’s face it, robbed in last year’s NFC title game against the Rams.
season, it’s not stayed away from the front pages of the NFL news outlets.
being overturned enough, inconsistent ruling on it and has led to many teams,
fans and players not understanding exactly what is or isn’t worth challenging.
between the Panthers and Saints nearly allowed PI to rear it’s ugly head once
more as the Panthers challenged a non PI call which was overturned to a PI
penalty. You can imagine how irate Sean Payton was at the overturn, something
that has happened on less than 10% of the time so far this year.
though, were able to overcome with a little bit of Slye help and the win could
end up being the difference between the #1 seed or the #2 seed and now gives
the Saints huge momentum and morale boost as they look forward to extracting
revenge against the Falcons on Thanksgiving night.
Derrick Henry Szn
December, that means Christmas is coming.
means it’s Derrick Henry time.
Derrick Henry has played after November 10, he has racked up a whopping 1493
yards, averaging 5.74yards per carry and scored 16 touchdowns.
definitely a polarising player in terms of fantasy football and even at the
head coaching level as previous Head Coaches have seemingly refused to put the
rock in his hands.
You cannot argue his production as the season wears on though and anyone entering their fantasy playoffs will hope for Henry to continue the trends on the ground.
On the verge of your first win as a rookie NFL quarterback you can excuse doing a Thurman Thomas and maybe losing your helmet, but to do what the Redskins Dwayne Haskins did was inexcusable. With eight seconds left in the game and the Detroit Lions looking for a miracle Jeff Driskel was picked off for a third time.
Meanwhile Haskins was wandering the sidelines and borrowed a fans ‘cellphone’ to take a selfie. As Haskins was increasing his Insta profile poor old Case Keenum had to run onto the field to take the victory kneel.
We all know crazy things happen at the end of NFL games, but for Dwayne Haskins his pursuit of socialness will far outlast his first professional victory in NFL history.
Lineman’s dream comes true
“It was all a dream…” is a famous opening lyric from a Biggie Smalls song, it was also what happened to Tampa Bay Buccaneers DL Vita Vea who hauled in a touchdown pass against the Atlanta Falcons. Talking of biggie size frames Vea became the heaviest NFL player to catch a TD since 1950. at 347lb the behemoth first round draft pick was all kinds of excited when he hauled in the 1 yard score from Jamies Winston.
We all love seeing the big guys get some love and Vea’s score was particularly pleasing and helped the Buccs to gain a win against the in form Falcons.
To compare Vea against one of the most famous big guys to have an offensive cameo every now and then he weighed 12lb more than William ‘The Refrigerator’ Perry.
ABC its as easy as 1-2-3-4-5.
It feels wrong even making a humorous reference to the dethroned King of Pop, but when one commentator blurted out ‘that’s a Jackson Five’ after Ravens QB Lamar Jackson tossed his fifth TD of the game against the Rams it did raise a small chuckle.
LJax is making an awfully convincing march towards the NFL MVP award after yet another jaw-dropping performance both in the air and on the ground. With another blowout victory in the can Lamar could unwind and watch his older backup Robert Griffin III steer the ship in the final period.
By the time we hit the end of the 2019 regular season it’s likely the 2020 NFL Record and Fact Book (well PDF) will need a new #8 annex.
Making a big moustake
Down by 32 points at one point against the dictionary definition of an average NFL team the Jacksonville Jaguars coaching staff must be seriously wondering if they made a mistake bringing back Nick Foles into the starting lineup.
Since his return Foles led teams have lost by a combined 42 points. Yes Gardner Minshew had a poor outing at Wembley, but the buzz he generated up to that point was at a Lin-Sanity type level. Nobody I saw walking up Wembley way a few weeks ago was dressed up like Napoleon Dynamite, but there were plenty of Fu-Man-Chu moustaches.
The Jaguars season, currently boasting a 4-7 record, is all but over so why not throw Minshew back in the spotlight. The Jags have three winnable games and two that they could play spoilers. #Unleashthemoustace
10 carat Gold
With 12 weeks in the books only two teams have reached 10 wins. One was predictable and one certainly wasn’t.
In the past 5 seasons prior’s to 2019 the San Francisco 49ers registered 25 wins – averaging five wins and exactly zero playoff performances. Under head coach Kyle Shanahan and most likely the single most impressive offseason the Niners already have the same amount of wins they managed in 2017 and 2018 combined. It’s going to be the single best divisional race to the finish in the NFL as the 49ers will go toe to to with the Seahawks for the division and home field advantage.
Jimmy G and top target TE George Kittle looked magical against the Packers, but the Niners D is the real reason for such a superb season. If only that pesky Russell Wilson wasn’t around San Fran would still be undefeated. Roll on the rematch in Week 17.
Today’s Half-Term report focuses on the AFC and NFC South.
Which teams are heading south in terms of short term outlook and which teams will we be watching in January?
Let’s find out.
Indianapolis Colts 5-2
Houston Texans 5-3
Tennessee Titans 4-4
Jacksonville Jaguars 4-4
How has it gone so far?
Having your starting franchise quarterback retire on the eve of the season would knock many of a franchise for 6. Thankfully for the Colts, they had a very good back up plan in Jacoby Brissett. He has marshalled the troops to a 5-2 record and crucially a big win in the division against the Houston Texans. Another significant road win was earned at Arrowhead as the Colts took down the Chiefs. They are positioned nicely for any potential tie breaks that may come into play come the post season shake up.
Marlon Mack is on pace for over 1000 yards rushing as there has been a clear commitment to establish the running game. With that said, T.Y Hilton is also putting together a nice receiving campaign and has already found the endzone on 5 occasions.
Rest of Season Outlook:
With games against the Steelers and Dolphins next on the slate you would have to fancy the Colts reaching a 7-2 mark ahead of a vital 3 game divisional game stretch. They then face 3 foes from the NFC South before closing out the campaign away at Jacksonville which could be a hugely important contest.
Ranked as a top 10 defence, expect the Colts to continue to be involved in competitive games but get enough production offensively to come out on top more often than not, particularly if the ask is for Adam Vinateri to kick the game winning field goals, something he has done consistently better than anyone else ever has done.
Regular Season Record Prediction – 11-5(Division Winners)
How has it gone so far?
What a fun team to watch! The Texans always seem to be involved in a game packed with points or lead changes. DeShaun Watson is a special player who Texans fans can look forward to seeing playing for many a year, especially if he is protected. Thankfully the team took steps to address the protection issue by trading for Laremy Tunsil. Yes, the price was high but the pay off has been instant as the sack numbers have come down over the past month.
Carlos Hyde has been a nice addition in the backfield and DeAndre Hopkins is on pace to reach over 1200 yards receiving. The biggest surprise has been the production from tight end Darren Fells who along with Watson himself paces the team with 5 touchdowns.
Rest of Season Outlook:
Similar to the Colts, the Texans have a big stretch of key divisional games coming down the tracks. In an ultra competitive division it’s obvious to say how crucial these games will be. One of those games is this weeks matchup with the Jags in Wembley as they make the plane journey across the pound for the first time. A marquee matchup with the Patriots is also looming on the horizon which could have bearings on AFC playoff seedings all around.
Expect more great value out of the Texans as we head towards the business end. The loss of JJ Watt is a massive blow and possible keeps them behind the Colts but still very likely to be playoff bound.
Regular Season Record Prediction: 10-6(Wildcard spot)
How has it gone so far?
A huge opening day win had people talking about the Titans. 7 weeks on and rather unsurprisingly the Titans sit at a 500 record. A team so inconsistent they are impossible to get a read of.
The inconsistency has lead to a much overdue change at the quarterback position as former Dolphin, Ryan Tannehill has replaced the underwhelming Marcus Mariota. The Titans have responded with 2 wins in his 2 starts as he looks to stake his claim on the job for the long term.
AJ Brown has been a nice addition at the receiver position giving whomever plays quarterback a nice big target on the outside. Derrick Henry continues to churn out yardage and defensively Logan Ryan is having a nice campaign having forced 3 fumbles and compiled 3 interceptions so far on the year.
Rest of Season Outlook:
Almost impossible to predict what this team will do. One thing is for sure though, if nothing else, the next 8 weeks are a trial for Ryan Tannehill. The Titans only sit 1 game back on the divisional lead so they can not be written off by any stretch of the imagination but there can also be no amount of confidence placed in them either.
The only thing I can say with relative confidence is the Titans finish somewhere between 7-9 and 9-7.
Regular Season Record Prediction: 8-8
How has it gone so far?
The Jags celebrated the off-season moves to address the quarterback position. Nick Foles threw a beautiful touchdown pass in his opening game but got injured on that play. It might be the best thing that could have happened to the Jags.
Enter Gardner Minshew.
The unfancied rookie has been phenomenal, throwing for just shy of 2000 yards with 13 touchdowns to just 2 picks.
Leonard Fournette has put together a nice season on the ground and the locker room looks a far more harmonious place following the trade of Jalen Ramsey to the LA Rams. 29 sacks on the season also has the “Sacksonville” label ready to return.
Rest of Season Outlook:
The biggest question ahead of the Jags, is can Minshew hold onto the job when Nick Foles returns to fitness? The London game starts a sequence of 3 divisional games which as per all of these teams will be vital given the tight nature of the standings.
Outside of the remaining divisional games the schedule is favourable with the Bucs, Raiders, Chargers and Falcons on the slate a realistic playoff opportunity is in sight.
I feel they just miss out on a tie breaking scenario.
Regular Season Record Prediction: 9-7
New Orleans Saints (7-1)
Carolina Panthers (4-3)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-5)
Atlanta Falcons (1-7)
Midseason grade: A
How has it gone so far?
After franchise icon Drew Brees’ injury in week 2’s loss to the Los Angeles Rams, most hoped backup QB Teddy Bridgewater could keep them in playoff contention until Brees returned. Bridgewater managed that and more, winning all 5 of his games during the future Hall of Famer’s absence.
With Ryan Ramczyk and the rest of the O-line performing at a high level, running lanes have been there for both Alvin Kamara and Latavius Murray, with Saints averaging well over 4 yards per carry this year and only giving up 12 sacks on the year so far, while largely neutralising rushers of the calibre of Khalil Mack and JJ Watt.
The defence has also more than played their part with the 2nd ranked rush defence, Cameron Jordan playing to all-pro standard and Demario Davis leading the linebacker core.
Rest of season outlook:
This squad is set up for a deep run in the playoffs and will hope to bring a 2nd Lombardi trophy back to the Big Easy. A matchup with the unbeaten 49ers looms large on December 8th which could go a long way to deciding playoff positioning.
Regular Season Record Prediction: 13-3 (#1 Seed)
Midseason grade: B-
How has it gone so far?
Carolina’s season has been a confusing one to say the least, franchise QB Cam Newton continued to struggle in the early part of the season, continuing a worrying trend from the latter part of 2018.
When he succumbed to lingering issues after week 2’s loss to the Bucs most thought the Panthers hopes relied on him returning form injury in short order, however up stepped second year undrafted QB Kyle Allen, winning 4 four consecutive games to drag the Panthers to the edge of the NFC playoff race before week 8’s sobering blowout loss to the 49ers.
Rest of season outlook:
While the odds would appear to be against the Panthers making a playoff run, any team with the talents of all-pro LB Luke Kuechly and the electric Christian McCaffrey can’t be entirely ruled out. It will no doubt hinge on when (or maybe even “if” at this point) Cam Newton returns and how much ring rust there is to shake off.
Regular Season Record Prediction: 9-7
Midseason grade: C-
How has it gone so far?
Tampa look like a franchise approaching a turning point. With QB Jameis Winston in a contract year and the same old issues of turnovers blighting the offence, it would appear there are poised to reset at the position after this year. However, there are other issues that need to be addressed before the Buccaneers can make a realistic run at the postseason. While Winston is certainly not without blame for his poor ball security and decision making, the offensive line is porous at best.
There are certainly pieces promising a better future, with Chris Godwin making his awaited step forward this year, to give a formidable 1-2 at receiver with Mike Evans. Shaq Barrett, Carl Nassib and Devin White have all impressed at times this season, but the secondary is a real weakness surely that must be addressed this offseason, with the 31st ranked pass defence this season.
A huge plus so far has been the top ranked run defence, shutting down the likes of Gurley, McCaffrey and Barkley. Certainly however, the Bucs have a lot of question marks going into the offseason, surely they must identify a QB to take the team forward but will HC Bruce Arians stick around to be a part of it?
Rest of season outlook:
Bruce Arians has a lot of deadwood potentially to clear out on the roster on the offence whilst the secondary always seems to be a quandry for the Buccaneers so i would expect the HC to use the rest of the season to assess players that he wants to use going forward and those that he wants to chuck out.
That includes 1 Mr Jameis Winston.
Midseason grade: E
How has it gone so far?
Arguably no team has been more disappointing than the 2019 Falcons, the defence has had a myriad of problems leaving HC Dan Quinn under huge pressure to salvage his job over the second half of the season.
While only 7 sacks in 8 games tells its own story of where things have gone wrong, things have hardly been much better at the other end of the field with the secondary giving up big plays on a regular basis. Keanu Neal’s season ending injury in week 3 meant one of the big leaders in the secondary was missing for almost the entire season for the second year running.
While the offence has got plenty yards from messrs Ryan, Freeman, Jones et al turnovers have plagued the offence, giving away 9 interceptions and 6 fumbles, ranking 28th in the league for turnovers allowed.
Rest of season outlook:
While spirited showings late in games seem to show the locker room is still working for Quinn, big questions hang over this franchise’s future direction. Don’t be surprised that if by the time you are reading this, he is out the exit door.
The season is already over to the dismay of the Falcons’ faithful and you have to wonder whether it’s time to blow most of this team up and try to start again because despite all the talent on both sides of the ball, something just isnt right here. Maybe all it’ll take is a coaching change…
How can we already be nearly half way through the fantasy season? Crazy, isn’t it. Nonetheless, as bye weeks hit full throttle with a plethora of elite fantasy talent ineligible for your week 7 rosters, waiver pick-ups over the next week or two are pivotal to maintaining winning weeks for your teams.
With Jameis Winston and Baker Mayfield on bye in week 7 (should you somehow still be trusting these QB’s in your fantasy teams!) Minshew has a great match-up in Cincinnati, and will be a great plug and play this week for any owners that need QB help.
Despite only putting up 4 fantasy points in week 6, Minshew had given fantasy owners no less than 15 points per game since the beginning of the season. Look for a bounce-back here from currently the most popular man in the NFL, especially as the Bengals are leaking the 4th most points to opposing QB’s on a week to week basis.
I could be telling you to pick up Adrian Peterson here like the majority of analysts will likely be doing this week. Peterson has a very hard schedule coming up, and one good week versus the hapless Dolphins does not sell me i’m afraid.
Yes, I know Benny Snell is on bye this upcoming week, but after the bye the Steelers face the aforementioned hapless Dolphins. With Jaylen Samuel still likely out and James Conner yet to break 55 rushing yards in a game this season, Snell could well be playing himself into a decent workload for Pittsburgh. 17 carries for 75 yards against the Chargers in week 6 says he’s ready to prove his worth.
Wide Receiver – Golden Tate, New York Giants – 63.2% owned ESPN
I can’t believe Tate is still available in more than a third of leagues. You realise he is literally the only proven receiver in that organisation right now with Sheperd and Engram out, right?
With those pair still likely questionable at best in week 7, and with a favourable match-up against a Cardinals secondary that gives away 23 standard fantasy points to receivers on average each week, Tate is a solid pick up and play for the Godwin/Evans/Moore/Juju/OBJ owners.
It’s a mini bye-nado this week with all of those elite fantasy stars out on a bye week, so if you’re still on the hunt, also consider Dede Westbrook(70% owned) who faces the Bengals, Dante Pettis (26.2% owned) whose target share increased last week and faces the porous Redskins or John Brown (57% owned) who currently is a fringe WR2 in fantasy that has that juicy inter-division match-up against Miami in week 7.
Tight End – Jordan Akins, Houston Texans – 7.6% ownedESPN
It’s pretty skinny, as always on the Tight End waiver front. But Akins has been seeing his fair share of targets over the last 4 weeks including a breakout game against the Chargers (3 receptions for 73 yards and 2 TD’s) in week 3.
The schedule is the most intriguing factor behind this pickup. Indianapolis and Oakland both find themselves in the top 5 for most fantasy points given away to opposing tight ends so far this season. With the Colts coming to Houston next week and the Raiders being the Texans opposition in week 8, Akins could have some fantasy relevance.
Quick mention to Hunter Henry, who is some of the more casual leagues will be on your waivers. Make sure you invest a heavy dosage of FAAB on the Chargers’ tight end, especially if you are short in this position.
It’s the first of 4 London games this weekend as part of the International Series, so let’s take a trip down memory lane at 5 memorable moments in the history of the game played this side of the pond.
5. Allen Hurns TD vs Buffalo
Despite 4 punts in the opening 5 drives, this game came alive shortly after as Buffalo and Jacksonville traded blows. In what was supposed to be an easier assignment than other years at “home”, the Jags raced out to a 27-3 lead. Then 28 unanswered points from Buffalo, led by EJ Manuel saw the Bills take the lead inside of 5 minutes left in the game.
Blake Bortles then escapes the pressure, rolls to his left and throws a pinpoint 31 yard bomb in to the front corner of the endzone where Allen Hurns managed to dive, touch his elbow/shoulder in bounds on the slide for one of the best touchdowns seen at Wembley stadium.
4. The tied game/Missed field goal
Washington and Cincinatti produced a decent matchup in this International Series game but it was a game full of turnovers and missed field goals.
Kirk Cousins threw for 458 yards (might take him a whole season to accomplish that this year!) in a game that was nip and tuck all game.
In overtime, Kirk Cousins drove 67 yards to the Bengals 16 yards line for Dustin Hopkins to miss the 34 yard field goal, leading to the first ever tie in London.
3. Matt Prater field goal
The Detroit Lions found themselves 21-0 down at half time in this one despite being the favourites. They were still 21-10 down going in to the 4th quarter.
Deep in the 4th, the Lions managed to score a touchdown but FAIL the 2pt conversion, leaving the score at 21-19 to the Falcons. The Falcons were unable to run the clock down and left 1:38 on the clock after pinning the Lions down inside their own 10.
Matthew Stafford drove the Lions down immediately, with big plays to Golden Tate and Theo Riddick. After a Stafford spike, there was :04 left in the game. Matt Prater steps up and misses from 43 yards. However, due to a delay of game penalty, Prater got another shot 5 yards further back. Of course, he nails it straight through and the comeback is complete.
2. Titans Tried for 2
In a strange game between the Titans and the Chargers, the trend for going for two at the death may have started here.
Down for the majority of the game, the Titans thought they found the endzone on 3rd and goal on a Mariota scramble but was overruled. On 4th and goal, they go to Luke Stocker on the run fake with 35 seconds left on the clock.
Mike Vrabel and co decided to get out with the win by trying to go for a two point conversion.
Mariota’s pass to Tajae Sharp was incomplete, but due to defensive holding, they get another go from the 1 yard line. Give it to Derrick Henry. No, don’t be silly. They try another play deep in the tomfoolery playbook to Taywan Taylor but Adrian Phillips was able to tip the pass, giving the Chargers the win.
1. Landon Calling
Couldn’t get through the article without a pun (and it’s a beauty to be fair!) but here is one for the defensive guys!
In a cold Autumn evening in Twickenham, there was a red hot play on the defensive side of the ball.
In what was a pretty poor game overall, the one highlight was with the Giants 10-3 behind, Landon Collins picking off Case Keenum at the 45 yards line and literally going through the whole Rams team into the endzone.
This helped the Giants facilitate a 17-10 win at the home of Rugby and is regarded by many as the single greatest play in London to date.
Everyone likes a
surprise, from an unplanned gift out of the blue from a loved one to your
favourite team scoring a huge upset against an ‘on-paper’ better opponent.
It may only be the start of Week 3 but some highly desirable packages are already being unwrapped across the landscape. Here, we take a look at the five early surprises in the 2019 NFL season.
John Ross III – WR –
Ross was a top-ten
first round selection in 2017 who wowed scouts with a 4.22 40 yard dash. His
first season, bar one run, was obliterated by injury, and his second, despite
suiting up in 13 games was abysmal, only catching 21 balls (from 58 targets).
The small ray of light in 2018 was that one third of his catches resulted in
touchdowns. Expectations had been lowered entering 2019, with the buzz falling
at Tyler Boyd’s feet after A.J. Green was declared out for the early part of
this season. Ross has stunned lots of folks with two 110+ yard games (270 yards
in total) in two weeks, scoring three touchdowns. Andy Dalton looks like he has
done an Andy Dufrense after the removal of Marvin Lewis and his top splash-plsy
target is John Ross. This production won’t sustain a full season, but stating
on the field Ross can break 1,000 yards and 10 touchdowns.
Gardner Minshew – QB – Jacksonville Jaguars
Coming into the 2019
season, unless you were a College football aficionado or you wore a teal
T-shirt with the words ‘Duuuuuuval’ emblazoned on the front, then the
likelihood is you didn’t know who Gardner Minshew was. Now thanks to his facial
hair and cheeky smile he is sweeping the nation with Minshew Moustache Mania, a
phenomenon only intensified with a nationally televised Thursday Night win over
the Tennessee Titans. Minshew was a Round 6 pick after a spectacular senior
season at Washington State where he ended up fifth in Heisman Trophy. In 2018
Minshew won the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, an accolade that has been
picked up in the past by the likes of Peyton and Eli Manning and Matt Ryan.
Minshew is the new cult hero in the NFL, which is a welcome distraction from
the Antonio Brown debacle for the Commissioner. I’ll meet you down the joke
shop for a Fu Manchu moustache.
D.J. Chark (do do do
do do do do do) – WR – Jacksonville Jaguars
Yes it is mandatory
that every time you say D.J. Chark’s name (do do do do do do do do) that you
hum that tune. The Jaguars second round draft pick in 2018 was under the water
as a rookie, averaging just over one catch a game in 11 contests (14-174). In
just two games this year the co-MVP of the 2018 Senior Bowl had two starts, two
touchdowns and two-hundred and one receiving yards, at 18.3 yards a catch. In
Week 3 he caught a touchdown for a third consecutive game and is now averaging 5
balls and 90 yards a game. After a rookie season where Chark (do do do do do do
do do) fumbled on his first ever catch he has been reborn in year two. He
doesn’t have significant college tape, having not recorded a catch until his
third season at LSU. In three weeks this season he already has enough You Tube
highlights to make a montage with some cheesy rap music featuring Crystal and
‘Yac. If you haven’t already make sure you check if he is on any of your
fantasy waiver wires.
Carlos Hyde – RB –
This dude has already
played on one-eighth of the NFL’s rosters, suiting up in 66 contests to date,
including two this season for the Houston Texans. With over 3,400 rushing yards
and 120 career catches Hyde is no slouch. When Lamar Miller went down for
Houston in late August there was a big hole in the backfield, so the Texans
traded tackle Martinas Rankin to the Chiefs for Hyde. Quietly but efficiently
in 2019 Hyde has accumulated 173 yards rushing at 5.8 a carry in two starts. No
touchdowns to date, and not a perfect pickup, Hyde is getting the ugly yards,
the first and second down work in the middle 50 yards of the field. Deshaun
Watson has looked a bit funky so far this year and he needs Hyde to ensure he
has someone in the backfield that can run and pass block. Hyde is not a pass
catcher, but he knows how to sustain drives. With a scattering of scores Hyde
becomes fantasy relevant, but for now he is still surprising fans with some
veteran savvy toting the rock.
Eddy Pineiro – K –
The term ‘double-doink’
only existed in the pantheon of a clown display in circus tents, or for you
ancient people, by Timmy Mallet on an episode of Wacaday. That changed forever
when Cody Parkey the Chicago Bears kicker made that not-so-sweet metallic pipe music
in a playoff loss to the Philadelphia Eagles. The Bears kicking game became a
punchline since the doinktastic miss, and the Training Camp and Pre-Season
kicking battle in the Windy City has suffered from national ridicule. Step up
Eddy P, who has fully justified his coach’s decision to keep him as he scored a
game winning 53-yard field-goal as time expired against the Broncos in Week 2.
Pinerio has been 100% on all 5 of his kicks so far, but the Bears kicking woes
are not yet eliminated as he is listed as questionable for MNF against the
One other name to
mention in the surprise package category is New England Patriots punt returner
Gunner Olszewski, the best unit based name since the legendary Detroit Lions
quarterback of the early 90s the one and only Chuck Long,
There is a long way to go in the 2019 season,
and it will be fascinating if these guys are still fan favourites by the time
we reach December.